Thursday evening while the rest of us were at soccer practice, John was at home enjoying the peace and quiet. Lucky dog. He spent his extra time in the garage. Doing what? I never ask (safer that way). He called me at soccer and asked, "What happened to the shade?" We have a rather large window in the garage, covered with a cheap metal blind. The blind was torn, shredded and had bites taken out of it. We brain stormed a while. Here is what we thought. We have been leaving the garage door cracked for the summer. The garage had been getting so hot, it was actually causing the gasoline in the boat to evaporate, filling the garage with fumes. Never a good thing. When we would crack the garage door this problem was relieved. The manner in which the shade was torn looked like an animal perhaps a feral cat had gotten stuck inside garage and tried to escape by climbing the shade. John searched the garage and turned up nothing.
Figuring our problem was resolved, we purchased a new shade on Saturday. John started installing it on Saturday afternoon. It was then he discovered the next clue. Droppings. Three different kinds of droppings.
Which could mean there are or have been three different types of animals in the garage. Super. Saturday after installing the new shade, John sets a mouse trap. Saturday evening after church we come home to a trap that is sprung, all of the bait taken and footprints all over the windowsill. Foot prints that are bigger than a mouse. John resets the trap with more peanut butter, and we wait.
Meanwhile we start discussing the times when we have heard noises in the garage. Between the time we found the shade and Sunday morning we have heard the noises in various locations around the garage. Most notably, around the boat. Now, when you have a rodent in your garage you question you are actually hearing the noise or if you are imagining it because you now expect to hear noises.
Sunday morning we had planned on going out on the boat. John went out to check the trap, and the trap was gone. OK now we have a large, and crafty animal. We have had mice and chipmunks in our garages before, nothing a mouse trap couldn't handle. Now, we need a bigger trap! John again hears noises on the boat. We decide to put the boat out in the drive way in hopes that the hot sun will drive the animal out of the boat, if indeed that is where it is located. John puts Ginger on the boat to see what she finds. She seems interested in the bow seat. John opens the compartment and finds the next clue. A shredded roll of paper towels and more droppings. Now we start to empty the boat of all it's contents. We shake everything out, find more droppings but no animal. Now the boat sits about 3 feet off of the ground on the trailer. So, we have an animal who is a good climber, mouse, rat, opossum, raccoon, groundhog , or squirrel??? As John proceeds through the boat he finds no other sign of the critter until the engine, 4 wires have been chewed through. John is not a happy camper. We unload, shake out and vacuum the boat and have uncovered nothing but destruction. What's next....animal control and a bigger trap.